WESTFORD — For the past 35 autumns, motorists driving on Old Stage Road here have slowed in front of Adams Turkey Farm, rolled down a window and heard “Gobble gobble gobble.” To the passerby, that is the sound of a thousand Thanksgiving turkeys, but to Judy and Dave Adams and their son Phil, it’s the sound of the most tiring time of the year.
CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Sterling College and Green Mountain College were recently honored by the OnlineCollegePlan.com rankings for the best college farms in the U.S. The 11th spot went to Sterling College Farm, part of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and the Green Mountain College Organic Farm at Cerridwen Farm was 12th. Middlebury College and the University of Vermont also made the list, which had a total of 60 college farms from across the country. The rankings were compiled in honor of National Farm to School Month in October, a month dedicated to spreading awareness and celebrating the efforts of the farms at participating schools.
CHARLOTTE — Milk Money L3C, an equity crowdfunding portal for Vermonters, recently announced its fourth Invest Local campaign, from Green Mountain Organic Creamery, or GMOC, the home of Kimball Brook Farm organic milk. Vermonters will have the opportunity to learn more about, and invest in, the GMOC campaign via the Milk Money platform. Milk Money offers the opportunity for true “impact investing,” since a dollar invested in a local business generates potential financial return as well as tangible social return on investment. For more details or to participate, visit www.milkmoneyvt.com.
BURLINGTON — Farm-business educators with the University of Vermont Extension are available in October for private consultations with farmers to answer questions on finances and business planning. These farm business and budget clinics will be offered by Mark Cannella, Mike Dolce, Tony Kitsos and Betsy Miller at various UVM Extension Offices throughout the state. Times vary according to location. The cost is $25 for a 90-minute one-on-one session. Slots are expected to fill up quickly, so early sign up is recommended.
Brenda Frank was recently chosen as the new president and CEO of Yankee Farm Credit. Frank will start on Oct. 1 as president- and CEO-elect, taking on the full duties on Jan. 1. She replaces retiring president and CEO George Putnam.
GREENSBORO BEND — Ray Shatney hollered as his wife, Janet Steward, watched, waited and grinned. “Come on, girls! Come on!”
Then they appeared, first one by one, then in clusters, from up over a small hill, until the green field where Shatney and Steward stood contained about 60 of them. Some had long horns — some shorter — and most had the long, wavy coat that makes them one of the most recognizable breeds of cattle in the world. In tiny Greensboro Bend — population 232 — Steward and Shatney operate Shat Acres, one of the premier (and oldest) Scotch Highland Cattle farms in the U.S.
Shatney and Steward breed, raise and process a 160-head Highland herd in Greensboro Bend and also at their farm in Plainfield, where they live.
HYDE PARK — The Lanphear Family Farm, a 530-cow Holstein dairy in Hyde Park, was recently named the 2016 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year. This farm, owned by Kirk and Katrina Lanphear, was recognized for its well-managed herd, high quality milk production, sound management practices and strong work ethics. The couple bought the farm in 2007 from Kirk’s parents, Russell and Judy Lanphear, after working in partnership with them for several years. The Dairy Farm of the Year award is presented annually by University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association in cooperation with the New England Green Pastures Program to an exemplary Vermont dairy farm. Other finalists for this year’s award were Earl and Susan Fournier of Swanton; Brad and Jill Thomas of Shoreham; and Loren and Gail Wood of Shoreham.
FERRISBURGH — The Vander Wey family of Nea-Tocht Farm opened its third-generation farm to more than 900 visitors for Vermont’s second Breakfast on the Farm on Saturday. This free, public event included a pancake breakfast, self-guided tours of the dairy farm and a peek into the life and business of dairy farming in Vermont. About 100 volunteers helped answer visitors’ questions. The Nea-Tocht Farm is a 500-cow, 800-acre farm owned and operated by Raymond and Linda Vander Wey, along with their five children and grandchildren. For more information, visit www.vermontbreakfastonthefarm.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets at 828-2430.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields. The funding is part of the USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives. Applications are due by July 8. The funding is available to farmers across key watersheds in nine states, including Vermont. Eligible farmers who receive funding can install and maintain the monitoring systems for up to nine years, giving time to measure the impact of conservation systems on water quality under different conditions.